Thursday, February 27, 2014

february budget

Target Flats: $20
Loft Tee: originally $30, on sale for $12
Forever 21 Scarf [seen here]: $10
Anne Emma Necklace [seen here]: $15

February budget = $57

Left for the quarter: $463

So this is the least amount of money I've spent on clothing in a really long time. I've been busy with core ending and systems starting, so I haven't had much time to online or in store shop. The one time I did go, this past weekend, I didn't find anything I liked besides the striped shirt, which I already own in pink. I think it's definitely partially due to being sick of winter clothes, but being no where near being able to wear spring clothes as it continues to snow

Thank you so much for all of your tips about getting out of the shopping rut on that post!! I've been spending some time looking online at stores I don't typically shop at like ASOS and Dorothy Perkins, and signed up to try out StitchFix for a month just to try something new. I know several of you have tried it and liked it, so I'm hoping I'll have similar experiences. Many people also have suggested JC Penneys, which is actually one of the few stores left in our local mall, so I will definitely have to check it out next weekend after this upcoming exam.

After returning the Banana Republic peplum top because it was actually a really flimsy material rather than a structured top as I had assumed (it looks like the one commenter agrees with me), I've kept my eye out for something similar. This one via Nordstrom looks to be a lot more structured so I may just try it out (no harm done since it's free shipping and returns). I'm also keeping an eye out for a J.Crew promotion so I can try this dress (it looks gorgeous in real life!), and these pants for the spring (if it ever shows up).

I know that I'm not really straying too far from the stores I usually shop at, but I am trying to keep an open mind about new styles of items and ways to wear them. Sometimes the problem with having a budget is that I want to squeeze the most out of that I can. I've definitely learned a lot about shopping and buying clothes that fit me and my life over the last two years of budgeting, but I still haven't completely figured it out. I think it's important to realize that sometimes it's okay to spend a bit more on pieces that will also get a lot of wear and love. I definitely have to find a balance between getting as much out of my budget as possible, and only buying pieces I'm really excited about. Thank you for supporting me on this little journey, and for all of your advice so far!

The ladies that link up every month for Budgeting Bloggers have been a huge influence on me, so please make sure you visit them and see what they've been up to this month!

Monday, February 24, 2014

on mall shopping

This weekend was the first weekend in seven weeks where I actually got to have a weekend as I don't have an exam this week. Most of my friends went home or had exams to study for, so I decided to drive up to Buffalo to go shopping by myself. All of last week I was really looking forward to it - just driving for a few hours by myself listening to music, and then shopping as long as my heart desired.

Turns out my heart desired shopping for about an hour. I was just so over the entire experience after going into the fourth store and hating everything offered. I feel like everything is currently neon, cropped, faded, too drapey, too tight, too short. I think I'm too picky now. If it doesn't look exactly like I want it to, I just don't buy it. Part of the problem was that I spent a little bit of time before leaving for the mall going through my closet, and taking out a bunch of items to donate. I was mad at myself for having spent that money on clothes I wasn't wearing, so I was feeling particularly on edge about spending more money on more clothes that (in my head), I wasn't going to like in a few months time.

In addition, I'm at the point where I'm bored with my closet, buying clothes, and finding new ways to wear things. A huge part of that is the dress code - it's just not particularly that fun to wear black pants or pencil skirts with tights all the time. I'm just bored with finding "fun" ways to wear clothes, even though it's still boring in the end. The weather makes it difficult to wear a large portion of the items in my closet so I end up wearing the same 5 pieces over and over again. I feel like I can't step too far out of the conventional way of dressing because of my body shape - everything needs to be a bit more fitted so that I don't lose the shape I have, but I can't go too tight without everything...being too tight. I wish I could pull of the drapey look, the tomboy look, the effortlessly put together look. But I just can't. So I have to have rules for myself when it comes to buying clothes - no sleeveless things unless I know I will wear it with a cardigan, nothing with too round of a neckline, nothing that doesn't go in at the waist, nothing that cuts me off at my widest points. It helps when it comes to narrowing down things to try on, but it also leaves me with a pretty boring and "same same same" kind of wardrobe. It's almost like there isn't any fun left in it - it's just about finding what looks the most flattering, what can be worn as many ways as possible, and what will have the longest shelf life.

So with all of those thoughts in the back of my head, shopping just wasn't going to go well.

I started off at Gap because I almost always find something there to love. I tried on this tee, and while i liked the curved hem and longer sleeves (WHY does every store insist on having little tiny cap sleeves for tees), I wasn't sold on the curved neckline and different stripes on the arms. Plus it was not worth the $26 it was going for. I also tried on these flats that I saw on Jessica, and although I really liked them, I wasn't going to spend $40 on them when I knew I could get them for less during their weekly promotions.

Next was a bunch of returns at Forever 21 where I found nothing I liked, which is not shocking as that store really is just about everything I dislike about mall clothes. I was hoping the Love 21 section would have at least a few cute things to try on, but turns out that long frayed sweaters and mini skirts are what are appropriate for 20-somethings nowadays. So...that's a nope. Then I went to the opposite side of dressing and stopped at Banana Republic to return both this top and this top as they both looked absolutely horrendous on. I did a few laps after the returns, but was bored by the sleeveless work dresses and too short shirts.

I went to Loft next, where I have had a lot of luck the last few times - I wear my striped top and poppy shirt all the time. I was really hoping to love this shirt that I saw in a promotional email last week, but I knew from just looking at it on the rack that it wasn't going to work - it was too sheer, wrinkly, and short. Kind of a bummer as it looks so cute online. I also tried on this scalloped dress just for the hell of it, Cute in theory, not cute on me.
loft scalloped bodice dress
In the end, I walked out of the mall with this shirt (that I already own in pink) that I know I'll wear all the time, and freshly painted toes. I ended up having more luck at the local Target than I did at the mall when I found these adorable cap-toed flats. I'm not usually a bit Target shoe person, but these were just too dang cute to pass up (see them on instagram here).

I'm at a place now where I feel like I need to branch out more when it comes to buying clothes. I've always been a "mall girl" because that's all I've ever really known. I never grew up around boutiques or was a huge online shopper if I couldn't return it in store. But maybe to branch out of my clothing rut, I need to take a step back from the mall and try other things. Do you have any places you love that I haven't tried? I'm definitely open to suggestions!

Monday, February 17, 2014


Forever 21 Fantasy Floral Tassel Scarf
I am so ready for winter to be over. This one has felt particularly long, I think in part because of how long my days are and the lack of having free weekends. I'm sick of having to find ways to dress around the snow - it usually leaves me with having to wear a dress so I can wear boots, and then my one pair of full length dress pants for when it momentarily stops snowing. I'm ready for dresses that don't require tights, ankle pants, and sandals. I'm ready for my dogs wanting to by outside for longer than two minutes at a time - they've been cooped up all winter and it's starting to show. 

I'm also ready for it to be the weekend. This coming weekend is the first weekend in months and months and months where we don't have any test the following week. Although I still have to study a lot, I plan on A. sleeping in and B. driving up to Buffalo to go shopping by myself. I haven't really gone to a mall by myself since I moved since I've always driven with friends, but this time I'm excited to just get to walk around and take as long as I want staring at things I probably won't end up buying. I did put in a few orders in the last week so I could try some things on and then have the opportunity to return in store. I ordered this scarf and am so excited to wear it all spring. The blues and reds in it will be perfect for wearing with a bunch of different items in my closet, and it's big and fluffy without being overwhelming. I also ordered this dress because I thought it would be a great quick throw-on dress, but it ended up being too short so I'm hoping they'll have the next size up in stores. I also ordered this blouse and this peplum top just to try on - I've never done the whole peplum thing because they have always been too short on me, but this one comes in tall so I'm hoping it'll be long enough.  
Forever 21 Floral Fantasy Tassel Scarf
Blazer: Thrifted
Top: JC Penneys [similar]
Scarf: Forever 21 [exact]
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Watch: Target [similar]
Shoes: Lucky [exact]
Floral scarf striped shirt

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Madewell Terrace Dress
We are getting closer and closer to being done with "core" - we have one week of this basic science stuff left until we are officially finished with it. Core is basically an intro to all of the difference science we have to know, so it's all about understanding the basics of physiology and pharmacology, the main microbes, immunology, and how genetics/biochemistry work. We've been doing core since the end of October (when we finished anatomy) so on the one hand I'm excited to finally get past the basics. You can only learn so much general information until you are bored. On the other hand, the thought of starting systems is slightly terrifying. Systems just means we learn each body part at a time - for example, for renal you learn all about the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, exc. about the kidneys. So it'll be a lot more relevant to our future careers but there's also a lot going on.

P.S. If you are interested in hearing more about my medical school experiences so far, you can check out an interview I did with here!

Dress: Madewell [exact on sale]
Cardigan: Old Navy 
Tights: Target [exact]
Boots: Franco Sarto [exact]
Belt: Everlane [exact]
Scarf: H&M
Madewell Terrace Dress
And in case you were interested in getting this dress, this is what it looks like alone. I feel it runs true to size but the material has quite a bit of stretch to it as well. 
Madewell Terrace Dress
linking up with wiww and mix and match fashion.

Monday, February 3, 2014

tickled pink & blue (nile giveaway)

I tend to avoid wearing pink and red together (except these two times I've done it) but it seems only appropriate for this time of year. Love is in the air, ya know? ;)  

There's also snow in the air, but we're going to try to ignore that fact. 

Make sure you enter the giveaway below to win the same necklace that I'm wearing - you know I'm all about the delicate silver jewelry, so I was really excited to add this beautiful piece to my small collection. Good luck!
Tee: Loft [exact]
Blazer: Old Navy [save | splurge]
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Necklace: c/o Blue Nile [exact]
Shoes: Lucky [exact]

a Rafflecopter giveaway